Team Cigar Review: HVC La Rosa 520 Reyes

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Cigar Details: HVC La Rosa 520 Reyes

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6.25″
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Reinier Lorenzo
  • Price: $11.80
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: HVC Cigars

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a lighter brown with a couple of medium sized veins present. The seams are nearly invisible they are so well blended. There are three well applied caps with the top one having what looks like a twisted finish that was pulled off and folded over. There is a single simple band that is primarily red, gold and white that has the company and line name on it. The aroma from the wrapper is a faint sweet barnyard. The foot aroma is a mild cherry sweetness. The pre-light draw brings a graham cracker note with a slight spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The HVC La Rosa 520 Reyes has in between a Colorado Claro to Colorado Maduro shade wrapper. There is a uniformed slight lumpiness to the entire cigar. Aside from that, veins appear well pressed and seams tight. The cigar feels weighty, being packed full of tobacco. The head is finished off with a well adhered, thick triple cap. Nosing the wrapper gives wet earth and barnyard. Nosing the foot gives black pepper, cedar and dry nuttiness. Cold draw tells dry cardboard, lip tingling dry black pepper and aged cedar.

First Third

Initial draws bring a very full cinnamon in the mouth and on the retrohale. After a few draws, the cinnamon settles down a bit and lets some woodiness show in the background. At a quarter inch in, the cinnamon settles down quite a bit with the wood coming about even. The retrohale is still dominated by the cinnamon. Three quarters of an inch in and the cinnamon has moved to the background with the wood moving up front and a nice creamy note joining the wood. At an inch and a quarter, the cream leaves the profile and the wood becomes drying with a little cinnamon in the background. As the third comes to a close, the wood is a little less drying and the cinnamon has completely left the profile. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

Initial flavors bring forth toasted wood, creamy nuttiness, dry white pepper and spicy dry jalapeños on the tip of the tongue. Half inch in, a sharp vegetal note appears along with a decrease in the white pepper and heat. This allows the profile to become more distinct in creaminess, reminiscent of 2% milk. One and a half inches in, barnyard enters the profile, creating a nice wet earthiness. Through the nose, dry wood, creamy nuttiness and slight dry white pepper spice. The finish is medium in length, providing slight wood creaminess, dry wood and dry minerality. Body and strength is at the medium mark within the entire first third.

Second Third

As this third begins, the drying wood profile continues. A quarter inch in, the wood becomes more defined as a slightly spicy cedar. The retrohale also carries the spicy cedar note along with a slight cream. At a half inch in, the cedar transitions to oak along with a slight bitterness. An inch and a half in, the slightly drying oak with a little bitterness still remains. This is how the third finishes. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

Second Third

A few notable changes within the second third. First, the strength ramps from medium to medium full, providing a relaxing and cloudy head. Second, there is a significant decrease (70% or so) in spice from the initial half inch or so, something I wish the cigar still provided. The decrease in spice allows for the cigar to be creamier (2% milk) and nuttier. Lastly, a wood bitterness creeps forth, providing a greater depth of dry earth. Aside from these, flavors of dry wood, barnyard and toastiness remains unchanged. Through the nose, the preferred amount of dry white pepper, dry wood and creamy nuttiness. The finish is still medium in length with notes of wood creaminess, dry wood and dry minerality. Body remains unchanged at medium.

Final Third

As this third begins, the oak with a little bitterness remains and a minerality joins in to the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the bitterness and minerality both bump up a bit to even out with the oak. This is the profile that the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

Final Third

The last third for the most part remains unchanged from the second third. Still, primary notes of faint white pepper, wood bitterness, dry wood, barnyard and toastiness. The wood bitterness fights for dominant flavor in an intermittent manner. Further, there is a slight spicy heat on the rear palate that comes and goes. Through the nose, still the preferred amount of white pepper, dry wood and creamy nuttiness. The finish is still medium in length with wood creaminess, dry wood and dry minerality. Strength and body remains unchanged at medium full and medium, respectively.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy, but always kept up. The ash was a bit flaky but held on in one inch increments.

Burn

All in all, a great burn performance. Total smoking time clocked in at a great 2 hours and 23 minutes. Burn line although never razor sharp, burned the entire way with no touch ups or re-lights. Ashes were a bit flowery but held on strong, averaging 1.5 inch increments.

Draw

The draw had just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar started with a very good profile, but getting into the second third, things became very linear. Linear can be OK if the profile has a good set of flavors, but I found these just to be average. I’d really like to revisit this to see if I have a different experience from this lone sample I smoked. The strength profile is right around medium, so most smokers should be fine with it.

Aaron
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Very Good
Average Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Good
Very Good Burn Very Good
Amazing Draw Very Good
Average Overall Good

Draw

The draw was ever so slightly snug for my liking, such that I had to at times focus on the draw. But this is just a minor gripe.

Overall

I overall enjoyed the cigar. The first third brought a lot of promise with full and distinctive notes as well as complexities and transitions. Unfortunately, this did not hold for the last two thirds as the main culprit was the lack of spice. I do wonder if time will help, in the hopes of better transitions and nuances, since based on my smoking experience, most Aganorsa tobacco does improve with age. All in all, Reinier once again proves he makes delicious cigars utilizing some of the best tobaccos Aganorsa has to offer.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.20

Cost/Point

$1.90

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.33

Cost/Point

$1.61

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: HVC La Rosa 520 Reyes

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